Columbia Threadneedle Investments, the global asset management group of Minneapolis-based Ameriprise Financial Inc., announced that it has an agreement to acquire New York-based investment adviser Emerging Global Advisors (EGA).
EGA, founded in 2008, provides smart beta portfolios focused on emerging markets.
Smart beta portfolio strategies are considered an evolution of traditional market cap-based index investment strategies and generally track custom-designed indexes.
EGA applies its smart beta strategies to nine emerging markets equity exchange-traded funds, or ETFs.
“The experience and knowledge of the EGA team and strong emerging markets ETF products will complement our existing actively managed product lineup,” said Ted Truscott, chief executive of Columbia Threadneedle Investments, in a statement.
Earlier this year, Columbia Threadneedle took steps toward offering its own smart beta strategies by making preliminary registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission for multiple ETFs under a Columbia Beta Advantage banner.
EGA, with $892 million in assets, will join the much bigger Columbia Threadneedle, which has $464 billion in assets and more than 2,000 employees worldwide. About 450 of the employees are investment professionals.
Retention of talent will be an important part of the acquisition. Columbia Threadneedle will be adding EGA’s expertise in product design, marketing and distribution of smart beta strategies.
“The team is excited about joining Columbia Threadneedle Investments and building on our complementary strengths to deliver smart beta strategies across asset classes to investors,” said EGA Chief Executive Marten Hoekstra in the statement.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close later this year.
EGA’s nine exchange-traded funds are: Beyond BRICs (BBRC); EM Core ex-China (XCEM); EM Quality Dividend (HILO); EM Strategic Opportunities (EMSO); Emerging Markets Consumer (ECON); Emerging Markets Core (EMCR); India Consumer (INCO); India Infrastructure (INXX); and India Small Cap (SCIN).